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There are various reasons why football clubs have chosen to commit themselves toward CSR programmes, however, whether they are committed to benefit themselves or others is another matter. Since the introduction of premier league in 1992, the footballs industry in England is booming and the football clubs are no longer able to run the way they used to. Mega clubs such as Chelsea, Manchester city and Manchester United are generating billions of pounds of revenues from ticket sales and television. As a result of this, reputation is always at stake, as most of the investors now see football clubs as a business opportunity to invest their money in for a decent return.
Therefore, by committing themselves to a CSR programmes, those football clubs are now able to show that they do genuinely care about their local community and are trying to be committed to improve it further. An example of this can be show when Chelsea football club invested 2.3% of their turnover to their CSR strategy, as well as raising more than £1 million for charity annually. As we can see, rather than being a club that is associate with super rich owner and players with 8 figure annual salary , CSR programmes give mega club like Chelsea another image to satisfy their stakeholder and more importantly a unique selling point to their shareholder. Similarly, “Kick it out” campaign is another example that many premier league football clubs adapt to, emphasising the importance of corporate social responsibility.
This act was introduced to stop discrimination and racism toward each other, which also will encourage fair play and equality- not only towards the players but also towards all the fans of club all around the world. There are many financial and non financial benefits that Manchester City football club can gain from their work. Wind turbine project, for example, will be able to help Man city gain a higher reputation and better image as it is the only football club that contributes toward positive social, environmental outcomes through day to day operation. Manchester City football club are able to advertise themselves as an environmental friendly corporate due to the green energy that is generated from the turbines.
This act helps the club to gain more attention from the media as their CSR differentiates them from other football clubs, which undoubtedly increases attraction of shareholders all over the world. Not only that, since environmental issues is such a significant topic, this project shows that they are extremely concerned about the local community air pollution as well as trying to increase satisfaction of many stakeholders. Similarly, other project such as The City in the Community (CITC) and Community Giving, helps Manchester city to gain better relationship with the local society and public institutions. Consequently, these projects then provide Manchester City with a prospect of expanding their current status to an international level. In addition to this, as Manchester City is growing internationally, they can then inflate their fan base which will cause a rise in their reputation, which creates another financial advantage for the club to generate more revenue from sponsorship , ticket sales and shirt sales. I will compare Manchester City to Mark & Spencer. Similarly to Manchester City, even though M&S is major British retailer, Mark and Spencer’s are very committed to their corporate social responsibility from which they gain financial and non financial benefits. Nevertheless, as a retailer, selling clothes and luxury food internationally, the company will be mostly generating from their products sales rather than sponsorship, unlike a football club. Therefore, a company like M&S are always trying to do the best they can to help the local community, as well as trying to be environmentally friendly as much as possible. Likewise, corporate social responsibility then helps Mark and Spencer’s to gain a higher reputation due to media attention, as well as gaining a unique selling point that helps them become more competitive against their rivals, which undoubtedly facilitate the company to increase their customer base. However, to make their commitment toward the environment, Marks and Spencer are focused on the waste material rather than aiming to increase green energy like Manchester City. An example of this seen as M&S have created a partnership with Oxfam and have collected more than 11 millions garments since 2008 to be re-sold, re-used or recycled , which helps to reduce the impact on global warming as well as air pollution. Marks and Spencer’s also make sure that they are committed within their company; they use fewer carrier bags and have reduced packaging.
Once again, as reputation rises, these activities have provided them with a better position in the market, as well as attracting investors/shareholders which can expand their company even further. On the other hand, dissimilarly to a football club, every employee is extremely important to Mark and Spencer, as their products are rely on their employee’s productivity in production process as well as the quality of their services. As a result, to show their CSR commitment further, M&S are also focused on the employees by providing thousands of hours of training and education, including healthcare and employment rights, throughout the supply chain, which give their employees a brighter future with the better qualification, which undoubtedly help them to improve their quality of life. By doing this, it not only assists the company to attract talented employees in the future, it also reduces the cost from other expenses that might occur from industrial action if employees are unhappy about the way they are treated.
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